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We were delighted when we had an invite to play for EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World. Before our gig, we were granted the freedom to explore all the Disney parks. I, myself, have gone to Disney World a few times as a kid with my family, but this was a first for the rest of the band. Despite the fact we lived close to Disney, we never really got around to checking the place out (and let’s be honest here, Disney is for the tourists while locals try to stay away from the money trap). You certainly don’t think about any of that stuff when you enter the parks. Really does bring out the kid in you.
Everyone had their own favorites: Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Mission: Space, Expedition Everest, - and, the, beat, goes, on. We all favored and rode Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at least a gazillion times at the Studios. I think any rocker (or self-proclaim rocker) will have a soft spot for that ride. Every time I heard an Aerosmith tune while waiting in line, it brought me back to when I was a kid; listening to old Aerosmith CDs and fantasying being exactly like them. Now look at me! Far from ‘dreaming on.’
After a day of park-hopping, we played at a very small stage that resided in the American Adventure pavilion at World Showcase, EPCOT. We didn’t play the typical 90-minute to two-hour set we would play at most gigs. Instead, we played three, hour-long sets that started in the afternoon, with an hour gap in-between our sets, and ended an hour before the 9 P.M. fireworks. Most bands when they play at EPCOT, repeat the same damn songs during their three-sets. We decided to dedicate each hour-long set to our various music styles. The first set we played, included heavier tunes of ours (which honored the Long Play and Untitled albums). The second set was in honor of our mellow/proggier side (which we dipped a lot from the Lite album). Third set was all cover tunes. The event reps weren’t thrilled about the idea at first, but after seeing that we had the most people crowded around the pavilion (I’ve been told the only other band that had that much appeal at EPCOT was The Beach Boys), they retracted. The crowd wasn’t the most electrifying audience we played at (maybe because of the setting), but they all cheered and chanted. If I have to take a guess, there was a mixture of die-hard fans and people that never heard of us before, but was intrigued enough to watch us perform. By the way, I was rockin’ with a shirt I purchased the previous day: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Goes along with the rest of my music shirt collection!